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Article

Benedicte Brøgger and Birgit Helene Jevnaker

The purpose of the paper is to shed light on the particular organizing design practices behind making items exchangeable into commodities. It is a constructive…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to shed light on the particular organizing design practices behind making items exchangeable into commodities. It is a constructive contribution to establish more critical studies of merchandizing.

Design/methodology/approach

The study included several longitudinal projects in retail chains in Scandinavia. The research was based on anthropological and participatory research methods. We introduce the term “waremaking” as a term for the work to make items exchangeable and expand on a distinction between silent and seen design (Gorb and Dumas, 1987).

Findings

Waremaking is business, but includes giving form to relations between business and society to make exchanges at all possible. We found considerable silent design work that is not commonly acknowledged in economic and social theory.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for comparative and aggregate studies. We deconstruct the conventional categories “commodities” and “merchandizing” and a study of the contingent effects on the meaning of other constructs is needed.

Practical implications

Introducing the notion of waremaking yields important insights for organizations and managers. We offer a new framework of waremaking that crosses existing boundaries and helps construct new interfaces between designers, traders and consumers in society.

Social implications

The papers reveal merchandizing as a culturally complex and nuanced form of work and a crucial field of practice.

Originality/value

Scholars have denoted little attention to the cultural work of merchandizing. By delineating a new practice-based framework encompassing both ordinary and extraordinary work, we can address the cultural production of commodities.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

Keywords

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Article

Birgit Helene Jevnaker, Brynjulf Tellefsen and Marika Lüders

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the development and experimentation with a designer-assisted and collaborative concept-creating approach can provide new…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the development and experimentation with a designer-assisted and collaborative concept-creating approach can provide new insights into the emergent field of service innovations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper were independent researcher with no commercial interests in the method investigated. The paper adopted qualitative methodology informed by 12 innovation workshop series among three Norwegian service companies, followed up by formative validation of the three years constructional and experimental period.

Findings

The workshops introduced tangible tools and produced large numbers of innovation ideas, some of which were exploited. Participants internalized partially service design-terms and tools. The experimentation contributed to a common language among participants. Weaknesses included not explicitly addressing managerial learning and organization-internal issues.

Research limitations/implications

New innovation interventions in the often fuzzy front-end should be validated to accumulate insights and allow changes.

Practical implications

The paper offer a managerial framework for improving innovation experimentation among corporate employees and specialists. This will help companies understand service design impact on innovation by delineating key managerial components and limitations from broad business perspective.

Social implications

Relationships influenced the construction and conduct of the innovation experiments, and consequently who were influenced by the experiment in the companies. To evaluate whom to include in the workshops and whom to represent by proxy innovation networks should be analyzed.

Originality/value

This study reports one of very few appraisals of design-assisted service innovation interventions through process observations and follow-up field interviews, including interviews after the finalizing of field experiments. The paper offer frameworks and critical issues for fuzzy-end innovation practice and research.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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